ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals added an extra arm to the bullpen on Saturday, summoning reliever Mitch Harris from Triple-A and clearing a roster spot for him by optioning infielder Greg Garcia to Memphis.
The move, which represents the Cardinals' third player transaction in as many days, leaves the club with a four-man bench and an eight-man bullpen.
"More than anything, you can tell we have been working our bullpen pretty hard, especially the back end when you look at [Kevin] Siegrist and [Trevor Rosenthal], both," manager Mike Matheny said of the need for another pitcher. "Then you start having to scratch a couple guys every day, and you have to start having [a need for] some arms down there."
Over the first seven games of this homestand, the bullpen logged 23 innings. Siegrist and Rosenthal appeared in five of seven games, while Seth Maness pitched in four of them.
Harris made 16 appearances with the Cardinals earlier this year, posting a 3.63 ERA and a 1.846 WHIP while striking out nine and walking 10 over 17 1/3 innings. The right-hander and naval veteran had allowed runs in two of his five appearances with Memphis since being sent down on June 18.
"After I talked to several people and got through that first thought of, 'Oh man, I got sent down,' I realized it was a really good thing for me, something I needed," Harris said. "Now that I'm back, I realize it was a great thing for me, really helped me out on the mound both physically and mentally. So I'm excited to get back out here."
Garcia, who joined the Major League team on June 19, went 5-for-12 in this latest stint. He delivered a game-tying, pinch-hit home run that helped the Cardinals to a win over the Cubs on June 26, but in his most recent at-bat, he struck out with the potential go-ahead run at third in the eighth inning of Friday's 2-1 loss to the Padres.
Garcia's demotion wasn't so much a reaction to anything he did or didn't do, but rather dictated by the Cardinals' need for another pitcher.